Film policy, national identity and period adaptations in Flanders during the 1970s and 1980s
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Historical journal of film, radio and television. - Oxford
, p. 125-144
During the 1970s and 1980s, period adaptations, or period films based on the Flemish literary patrimony, were the most prominent and prestigious genre of film production in Flanders, the northern, Dutch-speaking region of Belgium. Connecting the observation that official film policy largely determines Flemish film production with the dominant interpretation of period adaptations in Flemish cultural and national terms, these films are often seen as the product of an official Flemish film policy strategy. Drawing on original archival research and interviews with policy actors and film-makers, this article offers a detailed historical account of the Flemish film support process behind the allocation of official film funds for period adaptations and how the national question was involved. Contrary to common assumptions, this film support process was a very complex and often ambiguous one, whereby Flemish cultural nationalist concerns could work both to the advantage and to the disadvantage of period adaptation projects. While the Minister of Cultures advisory board (the film commission) took a key role within this process, the agency of a variety of other actors (most notably Flemish public television and film producers) should also be taken into consideration.